News / Calgary

Outdoor recreation areas in Calgary to go smoke-free as of Aug. 1

Calgary has banned smoking in numerous outdoor areas and the new rules take effect Thursday.

New restrictions will kick in Aug. 1 at public pools, skating rinks, playgrounds, skate parks and sports fields after city council voted Monday to amend the smoking bylaw to restrict the burning of tobacco within five metres of these recreational areas.

“It’s reinforcing practices that are already being implemented,” said Ald. Andre Chabot, who brought the bylaw changes forward. “It’s kind of understood thing – that you’re not going to be smoking with a bunch of kids around.”

Chabot, who started smoking as a child and recently quit after struggling with tobacco addiction for years, wanted to further codify that in the law, specifying that the restriction at sports fields should only apply “while children are present.”

Ald. John Mar thought that would be too complicated to enforce, however, as it’s not always easy to determine a person’s age.

A majority of council agreed, and voted against adding that phrase to the bylaw.

“I don’t want us to be in a position where we have to go around carding people on sports fields,” Ald. Brian Pincott said, adding: “Adults should be protected from secondhand smoke too.”

Chabot has said peer pressure at a young age led him to take up smoking and the less children are exposed to tobacco, the less likely they are to use it.

“I really want to commend Ald. Chabot for his leadership on this,” said. Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart. “Being a smoker and taking this leadership and initiative, it’s really gone a long way.”

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